La Plata High School junior Ian Herd has spent the 2020-21 school year advocating for students. As the current Student Member of the Charles County Board of Education, Herd has weighed in on Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) programs and policies for the past year. He is passionate about government and politics, but most importantly ensuring the voices of students are heard.
Herd was recently voted by his peers to serve in the role again for the 2021-2022 school year. He is the first CCPS student in almost 20 years to serve in the role for two consecutive years. He will officially be sworn in by Sherri Hancock, clerk of the circuit court, at the Board’s Aug. 10 meeting.
Student members of the Board generally serve one-year terms. This year’s election was done electronically and opened to middle- and high-school students. As part of the voting process, students were able to review Herd’s campaign speech and ask questions.
“I am beyond humbled that my fellow students have once again put their faith and trust in me. I look forward to a year of hard work ahead,” Herd said.
While Herd prepares to finish his junior year, he is already planning for the next school year. Recent legislation passed by the General Assembly now provides the student Board member the opportunity to vote on certain matters before the Board. Effective July 1, House Bill 1060/Senate Bill 749 provides student Board members a vote on most matters. The legislation does not provide the student Board member with voting rights on legal appeals, personnel matters, collective bargaining, the hiring, salary and evaluation of the Superintendent, operating and capital budgets, school openings and closings, and redistricting.
Herd is a proponent of this legislation and is excited to be the first CCPS student to experience the process. “This is an enormous milestone for the student voice in Charles County. I am confident that Student Member voting rights will positively impact our Board’s deliberative process for decades to come,” Herd said.
In an effort to inform students about the new voting rights, Herd is planning to visit schools next school year to speak with students at all levels. He is excited for his work on the Board to continue for another year.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to collaborate with Chairperson Wilson and all Board members over this past year, and I’m excited to see where the future takes us,” Herd said.